Manchester United are looking on the up but since they started their six-game winning streak they have rarely needed their big-money summer signings.
When Manchester United spent a reported £148.7million in the summer, going on to sign Radamel Falcao on loan on transfer deadline day, it was clear they were hell-bent on ensuring last season was a one-off.
Things did not start well under Louis van Gaal, but the Dutchman had already warned it would take time. And now – perhaps sooner than expected – United are in the midst of a six-game winning streak following their 3-0 win against Liverpool on Sunday.
League leaders Chelsea may be eight points clear at the top of the table and reigning champions Manchester City five points ahead of third-placed United, but there is no doubt van Gaal’s men are building momentum and will be considered viable title contenders if they can maintain their current form through the busy festive period.
But for all the headlines United’s recent spending generated, it is telling that on Sunday not one of the club’s summer signings started the match and only Falcao and Herrera appeared as second-half substitutes when the game was all but won.
In the summer United brought in Ander Herrera (£29million), Angel Di Maria (£59.7million), Luke Shaw (£30million), Daley Blind (£14million) and Marcos Rojo (£16million), but van Gaal has got United’s lesser lights performing for him, men like Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata, who were both tipped for the exit soon after his arrival.
Di Maria, Blind and Rojo are currently side-lined while Falcao and Herrera are getting used to the feel of the bench. But just imagine how good this United side could be when all their summer signings are fit and firing.
That six-game winning streak could yet stretch a whole lot further…